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Reeves Gabrels & Bill Nelson: Fantastic Guitars

Album Review

Meeting of leftfield minds and fretboards – nary a blues scale in sight!

Experimental guitar head Reeves Gabrels has long admired Be Bop Deluxe man Bill Nelson, and the two finally met in 1989 at a Tin Machine gig.

(Ah, Tin Machine – David Bowie’s mid-life crisis rock band; reviled by most, adored by just a handful of us). Their friendship blossomed over the years and the possibility of a collaboration was regularly mooted then backburnered. Finally in 2012, with Gabrels stationed in the UK as lead guitarist for The Cure, they convened at Nelson’s Magic Toyshop in Yorkshire, and work began. Your reaction to their names will indicate how you’ll feel about this album. These guys are united by their heady yet rock’n’roll approach to their instrument, and their styles fit beautifully. It’s all here: processed squalls (And The Train Left The Station), ambient, Frippertronicy washes (Orange Turning Blue) charging, catchy discord (Infernal Apparatus, Revenge Of The Coda Kings) and fusion (A Brilliant Night For Rain, Santos). Thoughtful stuff, and if in parts it has the chassis of a hotrod there’s a Rolls Royce musical engine purring under the hood. If you like guitar music outside the (usual finger) box, this is an album that lives up to its title. Grant Moon

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